Welcome To The Stone Palace

When we put out word that we were looking for submissions and contributions to the site, Lisa Welsh was the first to fill our inbox with a passionate request to contribute. Lisa is devoted to letting people know about bands who she thinks aren’t getting the shine they deserve. First up, Stone Palace, a “rebel funk” outfit steadily making a name for themselves one gig at a time.


Photo by Wade Weirdson


It’s only been 18 months since Stone Palace formed, but it feels like they’ve been part of the Durban scene for years. They have a truly original sound, something like funk rock, but not quite. To be honest, it’s pretty hard to pin down an adequate description of this dynamic 4 piece, so I caught up with Ross Charles, the vocalist to find out more.


DIY: For those that haven’t heard of Stone Palace, please could you tell us who you are and what you love about playing music.

Ross: We are a 4 piece Rebel Funk band, all from Durban, although Reece lives in Hillcrest which I hardly think counts. The band consists of Cam Lane (on guitar), Reece Cook (bass), Budy Love (percussion) and me, Ross, the vocalist. Right now, we’re all studying music.

We love what we have created with Stone Palace because there’s this feeling you get when you’re making music (even more so as a band) that is so indescribably moving. The feeling of locking in as a unit on stage and combining the energy of 4 musicians together to create one solid amalgamation of power is beyond anything. I think that plays a large role in what makes us get on stage, the other factor would have to be seeing the energy move people. Watching music touch a person is incredibly motivating.


Rebel Funk, that’s a genre I haven’t come across before! Please, could you tell us a little bit more about it?

Sure, Rebel Funk is pretty much anything with a funk-driven feel to it that just isn’t funk. Reece describes it as ‘having no specific sound, and a specific sound at the same time’. The rhythm section is funk driven, the vocals are hard rock driven, the guitar falls into some sort of indie vibe and we play a lot of halftime. It’s significant because there really aren’t any other bands in Durban with this sound. The actual term came about when we were chatting with Wade Weirdson over lunch one day.  We love it, because it encompasses the wide variety of genres that our music touches on.


So it is your own genre! How does it fit into the Durban scene?

Our music fits quite snugly into the Durban scene. We have quite a diversity to our sound, so I think there are elements of our music that would be enjoyed by pretty much anyone. We have some heavy stuff and some stuff you can’t help but dance to, so we pretty much play all over the place. The beauty of the Durban scene is that it’s not really oversaturated, so each band kind of gets their own niche genre and they’re usually the only one doing that.


What really makes your crowds go wild?

I think people respond most well to Reece and Cam’s hair!

Reece also plays a pretty mean slap solo.

Then there’s the 2-minute halftime break-down in Gypsy Child, that always gets people going.


What has been your most memorable performance?

I think there would have to be 2 answers for this. Our second gig ever was at Rivertown Beerhall and there was this unbelievable energy in the atmosphere. The crowd were amazing and everyone was there having a good time. Those are always special.

The second would have to be opening for Gangs of Ballet, Cam and Budy were fangirling hard. They were more than excited to be sharing the stage with a band who inspired them to take music seriously. I’m pretty sure the first thing Cam did when we arrived was get a picture with Brad, it was his profile picture in 5 minutes.


Do you play your own music, or is your focus on covers?

We’ve actually just finished recording our debut album this month. It features 12 songs and pretty much covers everything we’ve been performing on stage this year. Everything was recorded live so it really carries the energy of our live shows with it. We couldn’t be more excited.


What have been your biggest challenges as a band?

We’re pretty lucky in the way things have been since the start of the band. We all get along really well and nobody lets their ego get in the way of the music. I think the biggest challenge at the moment would be finances, it’s not an easy living to make, especially when there are 4 of us.

Plus, we all have our own hobbies outside of the band but I think studying together and spending a lot of time just messing around as a group really contributes to how we work as a unit on stage. Everyone is really comfortable together in and out of performances and we all just take the piss out of each other. There’s always a lot of fucking about.”


Where is your favourite place to gig?

We have our regular spots in Durban. The Winston, Cool Runnings, La Casa and Rivertown. Obviously, our favourite place to be is on a festival stage. I think that goes for most artists because having professional sound crews really makes a performance enjoyable for us. Also, the crowd energy and general atmosphere at festivals just makes the whole thing an amazing experience.


Which other Durban bands do you enjoy?


The Blvck Crystals

South Wolves

Gangs of Ballet

The Kickstands

Rusty Red


Where can we find you online?

We’re on Instagram and Facebook under the handle @stonepalace

We also have music available online through YouTube and SoundCloud under the same handle.


So, if you haven’t heard this fantastic home-grown band yet, follow Stone Palace to check out their next gig date! If only for the hair care tips, you know it will be time well spent. 😉


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